Thursday, February 28, 2008

Conti's at Trinoma

One of my college best friends, Zarah, will be leaving for the States soon and so I organized various get togethers with our different set of friends. The first get together was with our friends from our previous work, BPI. The last time we were complete was two years ago when we celebrated Christmas. We had dinner at Conti’s at Trinoma. They decided on Trinoma because it was near to where the three of them lives. Ang daya! I live far from the place. Anyways, I enjoy going to that mall because they have bookstores and several restaurants I still have to check. It was my third time eating at Conti’s. With my first two visits, I wasn’t able to enjoy the food that much probably because I had to wait about an hour to be seated. It was at their branch at Serendra. The one at Trinoma was not at all crowded. I ordered grilled herbed pork chops with paella rice. Cher ordered chicken roulade. Almira ordered philly cheese steak. While Zarah ordered fish and chips that came with potato salad. I love herbed pork chop and their version tasted good. I actually love any types of meat cooked with herbs. Their pork chop predominantly tasted that of rosemary, which is one of my favorite herbs. The porkchop with the rice was perfect for me. I wasn’t able to taste much of the chicken roulade and I did not try the philly cheese steak. I had one of that at Pattycakes and I found it salty. Zarah’s potato salad was also creamy and delicious. For dessert, we had mango bravo and strawberry shortcake. Zarah was so satisfied with the strawberry shortcake that she was giddy about it. I’ve had mango bravo before but perhaps eating it slowly and tasting every layer of it somehow formed a fusion in my mouth. I finally understood why a lot of people were raving about it. I actually wanted to try the herb-crusted salmon but it was expensive. Perhaps, I’ll have it when E treats me to dinner next time.
Almira and Zarah

grilled herbed pork chops

chicken roulade and philly cheese steak

mango bravo and strawberry shortcake - yum, yum!

Celebration at Pancake House

Pancake House is a place close to my heart as well as with E. We met several times there while we were still dating and getting to know each other. Oh, I can’t believe I seriously wrote a cheesy statement. Oh, the heck. Anyways, for our monthsary, we decided to eat there again. It was an easy choice for two reasons: it was near my work and we were both sure that the food would be delicious. I always ordered beef tapa at PH (I love tapsilog so much!). This time though I decided to try something else and opted for Bonuan fish steak. The description said that the fish was marinated and cooked with herbs served with kangkong and salted eggs with tomatoes. E ordered pork Vienna, which was served with coleslaw. The fish steak was not that spectacular but it wasn’t bad either. The beef tapa tasted better. The pork Vienna though was really delicious especially with the sauce that came with it. The sauce was more on the sweet side. I also love ordering spaghetti at PH. Oh, and their French toast is absolutely delicious. Come to think of it, I still haven’t tried their pancakes. I guess there are still a lot to try on my next visit at PH.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Greenhils food trip

I love reading other food blogs. From one of the blogs I enjoy reading, I chanced upon a post on a resto called Peri-Peri Chicken at Greenhills which serves roasted chicken with a spicy twist. E loves spicy food so I thought of trying the place. As I’ve read, the price is quite similar to that of Kenny Rogers. It was nothing expensive or fancy so I was willing to try that place. Last Saturday, E and I headed to Greenhills after my class to have lunch and also to meet with my college friend, Mic. Mic is going to Singapore and I’ll be asking her to buy me a digicam. (My digicam broke down and so for the past two months, I had to rely on my trusty Sony Ericsson phone). It was the time to try the resto that I have been reading about. As I googled peri-peri, I learned that it is an African bird’s-eye chili. They have a set meal of ¼ chicken plus two side dishes for P170. We all ordered that. Mic ordered java rice and macaroni soup. E ordered the same rice with buttered corn and carrots. I ordered macaroni soup and mashed potatoes. We can also choose if we wanted our chicken mild or spicy. Mic had her chicken mild, while E and I ordered the ‘hot’ chicken. There were also various sauces ranging from mild to extra hot, which can be added to the chicken. E and I found the hot chicken not that spicy although when I added a little of the hot sauce, the spiciness was too much that I had to exchange chicken with E. I guess if looking for a place that serves chicken, aside from the more common Kenny Rogers, one can try this place. It can be recommended to those who love spicy foods. Although, I am more satisfied with the way I make my own version of a roasted chicken. E ordered my favorite watermelon shake. As I tasted the drink, it was too bland that I had to ask for sugar. Overall, I can rate my peri-peri experience as just the ordinary. It was nothing spectacular.

After several hours of walking and shopping, we got hungry again. Mic already left then. My brother came to join us with the shopping. He came from class so he was really hungry. As soon as we met with him, he immediately asked if we can eat first prior to the shopping. E wanted to try the Le Ching tea house because the name struck him. I love Chinese food and so I seconded the motion of eating there. I ordered siomai. E and I shared stewed beef brisket noodles with a serving of soup on the side. My brother ordered chicken with mushroom (rice topping). Then both of them ordered asado siopao. While we were eating the food, all my excitement vanished. Except for the beef brisket noodles, I didn’t like the taste of everything. Both the siopao and siomai were small in sizes. And the chicken that my brother ordered tasted awful for me. E and I both agreed that The Litte Big Chiness store that we tried at Gilmore was way better and more authentic. Le Ching tea house was not worth what we paid for.

After Greenhills, we headed for the UP fair were we had dinner at Rodic’s. I didn’t take picturse of that place but Rodic’s tapa was a far cry from the Chinese food. Not to mention, their tapsilog is one of my favorites.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Secret Recipe

I bought E a pair of Havaianas slippers as a Valentines gift (and also because he badly needed a pair of brand new slippers.) However, I got him the wrong size of slippers even if it took a really long time in contemplating the size of his foot. When he fetched me from work last Friday, we went back to Rustans Makati and had it exchanged. Unfortunately, they ran out of pairs with his size. The person there though was really helpful as he volunteered to call another Rustans branch to check if they have the size we were looking for. Thankfully Rustans at Mandaluyong still has his size. We then drove to the area and had the slippers replaced. We decided to have dinner in that mall as well so that there’ll be no need to change parking lots. We were just looking through different restos at the area. We chose a place called Secret Recipe as a lot of people were eating there. The place reminded me of Fuzion Café where they used cool colors for the interior and modern style for their tables and chairs. I enjoyed looking at the pictures at the menu that I wanted to order both rice and pasta dishes. I was eyeing the grilled herb chicken and spaghetti meatballs in their menu. I knew though that I can’t finish those both and so I have to choose only one. As always, E pretended that he wanted one of those two and so we ended up ordering those two dishes. (E always makes way in ordering the food that I wanted.) The grilled chicken tasted so good. It has a sauce that was more on the sweet side, but something which I haven’t tasted in other restos. The spaghetti meatballs did not taste anything beyond ordinary. E found it dry. Again, I ordered a chocolate shake (similar to what I ordered at Tokyo Café). And for all that we ate, we paid P495. Hmm, it was quite cheap for a resto at a pricey mall.

Secret Recipe
Level 5, Shangri-La Mall
EDSA cor Shaw Blvd

My Valetines Date

I had dinner at one of my fave resto, Kitchen, with some of my favorite officemates - Val, Jean and Pam. Kitchen is at Greenbelt 3. I ordered On Barbie's Cue (a platter of skewered chicken, pork and seafood served on a platter of rice) and Coot It! (mint iced tea).

The Kitchen
1st Level, Greenbelt 3
Makati City

Tokyo Cafe

I went to DFA last Tuesday for my scheduled appearance for the pass port application. I came with my best friend, Irene. Our applications were processed through a travel agency so we just had to meet with the agency’s liaison at DFA. It turned out that having your passport application processed by an agency, though a bit pricier was way easier and not to mention hassle-free. We had our mandatory appearance, signing of papers and thumb marks all in less than 5 minutes. We just have to wait for our passports to be delivered to the agency. And so since both of us had the rest of the day off, we decided to stroll and window shop at MOA. She was looking for cds that can be used for their Valentine’s presentation at work. I was looking for nothing in particular. When we both got hungry, we decided to try the dainty Tokyo Café. I love trying new things and as Irene loves anything Japanese, I assumed we both were willing to try that resto. As part of her fasting, Irene was not eating meat (pork, beef and chicken) until after Lent season. Due to that, we ordered a pasta dish of shrimp and garlic and tuna sandwich. Tokyo Café offers a wide variety of drink, smoothies, and coffee blended drinks. Irene ordered a tea-based shake. I ordered a coffee blended shake. There was nothing extraordinary about the pasta. It tasted like those with other restaurants. I was raving though on the tuna sandwich. It was really delicious. The ciabatta bread was soft and the dressing was really tasty. I also enjoyed my coffee. It was not that sweet, something which I really like. Halfway though with our pasta, Irene suddenly had a shock look on her face. She discovered that there was hair on her pasta. When we paid for our bills, we reported it to the waiter who then reported the incident to the manager. The manager gave us a 10% discount on our bill because of what happened. Irene was not satisfied with what happened though as the manager did not even apologize. Hmm as for me, I’d still probably try the resto with E next time.

Tokyo Cafe is at SM Mall of Asia
Central Business Park, Bay Blvd, Pasay City

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Laguna Road Trip

E surprised me with a trip to various towns at Laguna last Saturday. He claimed it was not yet his Valentine’s surprise for me. At first I thought we were just heading to Tagaytay. But when we passed the Sta. Rosa exit, I knew it was somewhere I haven’t really guessed. I was completely clueless when we passed Calamba and Pansol. We reached Los Banos and headed for UP. We just passed UP and E brought me to the St. Mark’s Chapel. It was a chapel on a hill, which has an open structure. We stayed there for a while and E drove further to the top of the area until we reached an amphitheater at the highest peak of the hill. It was an amphitheater of the National Center of the Arts and had a breathtaking 360 degree view of Laguna. It was a perfect place for picnics. We then headed past Los Banos and Calauan to have lunch at Kamayan sa Palaisdaan sa Bay at Bay, Laguna. The concept of the resto was nipa huts on a makeshift pond. The food was really sumptuous and cheap. We ordered ensaladang okra, inihaw na tilapia na niluto sa gata, ginatang suso (kohol), pork liempo and fresh buko juice. The food was really fresh. We only paid P500 for such large amount of food. The long lunch was followed by a long drive to Liliw, Laguna. We went slippers-shopping there. The slippers were really cheap that I am planning to start a business and get my supplies there. On the way home, we passed Orient, the all-originial buko pie bakeshop, and bought our pasalubongs.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Chateau Verde

I have been reading about this resto at several blogs. E and I have been eating dinner at UP Diliman after attending the 6pm Saturday mass. We would first have dinner at Rodic’s, then eat isaw at nearby Mang Larry’s then have balut at the Shopping Center. Last weekend, we indulged ourselves at a relatively cheap fine dining. Chateau Verde is a residential house turned resto. It is located near the Shopping Center (turn left in the road between SC and the Infirmary and it will lead you to Chateau Verde). The place had been well designed and lit to suit that of outside dining (alfresco). The food was really good. E ordered pasta (cream based) while I ordered spareribs served in a sizzling plate with java rice and pickled vegetables. The spareribs was very tasty and sweet. It was tender as I can easily cut through the meat. As well, it had more meat than bones or fat (taba). The java rice complimented the dish as well as the pickled vegetables. The pasta was scrumptious and it was really creamy. I was even the one who finished it. :P

E enjoying his dinner :)

The rest room reminded me of those in Sonya’s Garden. It was homey. The path leading to the resto was laid with plants and lights and just had that romantic feel to it. I really love that place. Not to mention that for the two dishes we ate, we only paid P350. I will definitely eat there again.

Other link:, pinoyfoodtalk

not bored anymore

These past few days saw me complaining on how bored I am in general and I have not been doing anything new. Everything felt like routine. There was not much work at the office and only training was keeping me slightly busy. I am bored to hell with my only class at DLSU. I enrolled for a subject called Fundamentals of Business Writing. Who would have thought that we will be discussing nouns, pronouns, verb and all the basics of grammar? It beat Comm 1 which I had at UP where we were actually discussing précis already. I might actually find the subject interesting if not for the professor who is sooo technical. After all, the subject is a refresher of things I may have thought I have mastered already. Even some dates with E seemed routine. I feel I always decide on where we shall go.

This February though, I am slowly feeling boredom leaving me. To start my February, E brought me to the high school fair of Ateneo. Sosyal is the word that best describes the fair. But I guess that was expected of the school. I found the high school kids entertaining. One tried so hard to sell us lappie bags that he was even stammering while doing the sales talk. There were also the usual kiss and dating booths. Yup, it was so high school.

Then E drove us to UP Diliman (where we felt much at home). We had dinner at Chateau Verde. I suggested the place as I came across posts about the place on some blogs. The food was cheap and tasty, and the ambiance was amazing. It was perfect for dinner and fine dining.

The next day, I met with my closest high school friends and we had a road trip to Tagaytay. After class, I met with my best friend Irene and processed our passport application through a travel agency at SM Megamall. Only when we were done did we headed to Tagaytay. Out first stop at Tagaytay was the public market. I wanted to buy some meat used for cooking bulalo while Sese wanted to buy corn and peanuts. We did not find what we were looking for probably because it was already late in the afternoon. The group ended up eating isaw (or bituka ng manok). They were selling those for P6 each. Mind you, they were huge (malaman) and not the type of isaw being sold at Manila. The six pesos was worth it.

isaw at P6 each

We ate dinner at Leslie’s. In all of my Tagaytay trips, we always eat at RSM and so it was my first time at Leslie’s. The place was not as spectacular as that of RSM’s but the food was way better and cheaper. We ordered bulalo (where we had a refill of the soup), grilled porkchop (it was so delicious), sizzling kangkong and ensaladang mangga. We also had different fruit shakes (mine was watermelon). For all of those, we only paid P350 each.

After quite a few minutes of picture taking, we decided to get back in the car and just drove on the way to Nasugbu. We were heading at no particular place and so I convinced them to try Bag of Beans. The first time I went there, we did not order any food. This time, we tried some of their desserts like mocha and strawberry sundae and chocolate mousse. I ordered their famous apple pie. The apple pie was filling and very rich. It was quite strong for my taste as it had so much nutmeg. It would be good with vanilla ice cream. Nevertheless, I would still recommend it. We stayed a while at Bag of Beans, just enjoying our desserts and talking. After that, we just bough buko pie at Collette’s (P125 and it was still hot) and headed home.

Plans for the coming weekend? A getaway with E this weekend (hot air balloon still or a surprise destination?) and I’m planning a get together with my culinary classmates at ISCAHM. Now, I am stuck with several things to do at work. Not to mention, I will be playing badminton later with my officemates. See, I’m no longer bored.